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Wednesday, 4 October 1972


Mr Prime Minister,

It is a great pleasure for us to receive you today, and we wish to assure you of our cordial appreciation of your visit.

From the beginning of our Pontificate, one of our main aims has been to work for the establishment of justice and peace. We are well aware that Great Britain shares this ideal: that peace may finally reign throughout the world, and that violence, wherever it may manifest itself and in whatever form, should be rejected and condemned. Great Britain is about to forge closer links with her European neighbours, to whom she will be able to offer her special historical and political experience. In so doing, not only will she be furthering the cause of the brotherhood of all men, but she will also be bringing closer the day when the goal of universal peace and justice will finally be attained.

We note with satisfaction the part played by Great Britain on the international level, especially by her membership in worldwide organisations. May the Lord favour every initiative which she may undertake for the benefit of the less fortunate members of the human family.

It is likewise our prayerful hope that peace in justice may soon be established in Northern Ireland, concerning which our thoughts and our anxieties are well known to you. We trust that whatever obstacles hinder the solution of the present problem will speedily be eliminated. We extend our good wishes to all those authorities who are sincerely and patiently trying to solve this problem without violence and in a peaceful, just and fair way.

We would ask you to convey our respectful greetings to Her Majesty the Queen, with the assurance of our prayer that God may ever assist her and endow her with every good gift.

Our greetings go also to the whole British people, which includes a flourishing Catholic community. We know that we can assure you that the members of that community, by their dedicated participation in the life of the nation, will ever continue to be among the first to favour every undertaking for the common good.

In expressing once more our pleasure at this meeting, we invoke upon you, Mr Prime Minister, and upon your colleagues the abundance of God’s blessings.

*AAS 64 (1972), p.674-675;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. X, p.1013-1014;

OR 5.10.1972 p.1;

ORa n.41 p.3.


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